Jackson has unveiled a new limited-edition signature guitar for Arch Enemy guitarist Jeff Loomis – the Pro Series Signature Kelly HT6.
It is the third signature six-string to arise from the pair’s decades-spanning partnership, and notably the second to feature the none-more-metal ergonomics and aesthetics of Jackson’s Kelly template.
After putting their heads together to create a more traditional yet equally wild seven-string Soloist in 2022, Loomis and Jackson have now gone back to their roots to revisit the Kelly body shape, turning in a limited-edition metal machine that has been described as “a meticulously designed powerhouse for today’s players”.
At first glance, you’d be forgiven for thinking this was a simple reissue of the original Loomis signature model, but further inspection reveals there is one key difference that differentiates the two siblings from one another – and the clue is in the name.
The “HT6” part of the model tag indicates this is indeed a hardtail version of the original Loomis Kelly, swapping out the Floyd Rose 1500 tremolo for a Hipshot Hardtail bridge, supposedly drafted in to help the guitar survive “the rigors of the road”.
This has the potential to come as a pleasant addition for those Loomis – and all-round metal – fans who had been wooed by the stunning instrument but put off by the maintenance burden that comes with a locking tremolo. That, and some players just prefer hardtails – players who now can unleash their inner Loomis without worrying about the bridge.
Hardware tweaks aside, the Kelly HT6 otherwise retains all the gloriously metal appointments and visuals that made Loomis’ original instrument such a hit.
That means the through-body, graphite-reinforced neck is topped with a 12”-16” compound radius ebony fingerboard, and complemented with Luminlay side dots and classic Jackson inlays, while the basswood body boasts a sandblasted ash top and white binding.
Tones come by way of two Seymour Duncan Jeff Loomis Blackout humbuckers, which can be tweaked via the single volume control and three-way toggle switch.
So, what’s Loomis’ own personal favorite spec? The finish, maybe, or perhaps the new bridge? Nope – it’s something far more humble.
“My favorite feature is the heel mount truss rod wheel,” he admitted. “As a touring musician, it’s perfect if I need to adjust the neck on the fly.”
Naturally, Loomis does reserve some praise for the rest of his new signature: “It’s a seriously metal looking guitar,” he says. “The playability is truly superior and the single volume and pickup toggle switches make it simple yet effective. I’ve played Jacksons from an early age, so working with them again to create this signature model has been incredibly fulfilling.”
The Limited Edition Pro Series Signature Jeff Loomis Kelly HT6 is available now for $1,599.
Head over to Jackson to find out more.